When it comes to telepresence robots, most of them are simply remote-controlled tablets on wheels. However, a groundbreaking system called VRoxy, developed by researchers from Cornell and Brown universities, is revolutionizing the way we interact with robotic avatars.
Unlike traditional telepresence robots, VRoxy replicates the user’s movements and has the ability to autonomously navigate through different spaces. The robot features a tubular plastic truss body with motorized omnidirectional wheels and a video screen at the top, which displays an avatar of the user in real time.
The user, located remotely, wears a Quest Pro VR headset and can switch between an immersive live view from the robot’s 360-degree camera or a pre-scanned 3D map view of the entire space. By selecting a destination on the map, the robot moves autonomously to that location.
One remarkable aspect of VRoxy is its ability to replicate the user’s facial expressions, eye movements, and head gestures. The VR headset monitors these movements and reproduces them on the avatar displayed on the robot’s screen. Additionally, when the user points their finger at something within their headset view, the robot’s pointer finger moves to point in the same direction in the real world.
In a recent test, the VRoxy system successfully enabled collaboration between users located in different spaces. Navigating back and forth down a hallway, users were able to collaborate on various tasks seamlessly.
The researchers behind VRoxy, led by Cornell University’s Mose Sakashita, Hyunju Kim, Ruidong Zhang, François Guimbretière, and Brown University’s Brandon Woodard, presented their findings at the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology in San Francisco.
How is VRoxy different from other telepresence robots?
Unlike most telepresence robots which are remote-controlled tablets, VRoxy replicates the user’s movements and autonomously navigates through spaces.
What features does VRoxy offer?
VRoxy allows users to switch between an immersive live view from the robot’s 360-degree camera and a pre-scanned 3D map view of the entire space. It also replicates the user’s facial expressions, eye movements, and head gestures on the robot’s screen.
Can VRoxy be used for collaboration?
Yes, VRoxy has been successfully tested for collaboration between users located in different spaces. It enables seamless collaboration on various tasks.
Who is behind the development of VRoxy?
VRoxy is being developed by a team of researchers from Cornell and Brown universities led by Mose Sakashita, Hyunju Kim, Ruidong Zhang, François Guimbretière, and Brandon Woodard.